Going Away and Taking You With Me

The bell rang. Thank God it’s lunch, meaning I survived half of the day. I don’t have to pretend to listen to teachers. During lunch break, I just pretend to listen to my friends. There’s nothing wrong with them, really. I like my set of friends. I just find it difficult to always give my full attention to different people blabbing gossip about strangers I don’t care about.

Sometimes, I wish I could just fly with my thoughts. I want to be outside. I want to be at the ocean.

As I walk along the halls towards the cafeteria, we stop by each of my friends’ lockers, like picking them up until we’re all complete for lunch. I guess we’re really close that way. All my friends say hi and wave hello to classmates along the way. I’m usually friendly like all of my friends, but these are the days I just don’t want to be the social butterfly I’m expected to be. I put my earphones on and I hope they get the sign I’m not in a friendly mood today. I hit play when I find the right soundtrack in my playlist – Everything by Ciudad. The best I can give to people right now are soft half-hearted smiles. My friends don’t seem to mind and the crowd doesn’t seem to notice. But the moment I see him coming our way, I quickly drop my smile. I look down on my shoes trying to control my pace as I secretly steal a look. He doesn’t see me. He pretends not to. I continue walking.

I take my seat at the lunch table with my friends whom I’ve been sitting with since freshman year, eating the same stuff they’ve been serving us since the golden age. Some things never change. My friends start the blab. I start my pretence while I peel the napkin off my utensils. It’s become a reflex of mine to glance at his table. He sits in his usual spot, the same old table with the same old friends. While his friends are busy laughing their heads off at some toilet humor, he leaves the table. I see him head to the exit, but he looks at me first and signals me to go out.

As I go through the door, I see him waiting for me outside. He’s leaning back at the same bench where he always waited for me. The sun hits his hair just right to make it shine its usual glow. His gaze looks up to me slowly from the floor. He flashes a smile. I get the familiar butterflies. “Wanna get out of here?” he asks and gently grabs me by my wrist.

He runs and leads me to his car. He starts his engine when I ask, “Where are we going?” He slowly backs up his car and he says, “To the ocean.”

I can never know how he knows what I want, and when I want it. I can never know how he knows when I want to have a road trip or just lock myself in my bedroom and watch Ghibli films. I can never know how he knows when I’m just too shy to get the last piece of pizza, and when I’m too full and he needs to finish my plate. I can never know how he knows when I try to be strong and keep pushing, and when I just want to give up. I can never know how he knows.

I watch him drive as I try to decipher everything in my head, and I get surprised as he reaches for my hand and intertwines his fingers with his – I let him. Familiarity strikes me. I get comfortable. I don’t remember how many times we’ve done this together before, and until now I don’t picture doing this with anyone else.

We were driving in silence for a while just listening to Ebe Dancel in his playlist. I’m not sure if he remembers it was me who put it there.

“So what are you planning after graduation? It’s only a few months away.” I ask.

“Me? Still the same plan. Nothing changed.”

“Oh.”

“And you? Did anything change?”

“… A lot.”

He stops the car as we reached the ocean. He takes off his seatbelt when he looks at me intently and asks, “Ready to test the waters again?”

“No, I’m just here to see it.”

 

 

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Going Away and Taking You With Me

Silid (Part 2)

Andito parin ako naiwan mag-isa sa kwartong tinawag nating atin. Pinipigilan kong huminga para hindi mawala ang amoy na iniwan mo. Naririnig ko pa ang iyong boses na tumataginting sa mga pader. Kaya tinatawag kita.

Tinatawag kita. Binibigkas ang pangalan mo ng paulit-ulit. Nagbabakasakaling nakasandal ka lang sa pinto at naririnig mo parin ako. Nagbabakasakaling sumagot ka sa iyak ko.

“Naririning kita. Tahan na. Di mo kailangan sumigaw. Sa tagal-tagal nating magkasama, memoryado ko ang tinig mo. Andito lang ako. Andito lang ako sa labas, naghihintay sayo.”

“Patawad. Patawarin mo sana ako. Alam kong kaya mo akong mawala sa buhay mo, pero ayokong mawala ka sakin. Huwag kang magpaalam. Magpaalam. Patawad.”

Ngunit ang tanging nakakarinig sakin ay ang bintilador sa ating kisame. Nagbabakasaling maipasa ng hangin ang mensahe ko para sayo. Nagbabakasakaling marinig mo pa ang mga salitang dapat sinabi ko noon pa – Noong andito ka pa.

Silid (Part 2)

Ciudad

EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY.

We hear his phone beep. He takes out his phone from his front pocket and opens the text. “I HATE YOU,” it said. He rolls his eyes as he brings out a pack of cigarette and puts a stick in his mouth, lits it. He connects his neon green earphones to his phone before he pockets it again. We hear the steady beat of the bass starts.

“Inside your house, I feel the sunshine…”

We see a girl’s hand quickly stealing the stick from his mouth.We see Judith looking at us, looking mad and disgusted, and she tries to hold her laugh.

She takes the cigar and blows a puff, then throws it away. She grabs him by the hand. They run.

EXT. PEDESTRAIN LANE. – Continuous.

They come to a halt because of a stoplight; They catch their breath while waiting.

We see the stoplight counting down to 3… Close up of her eyes. 2. Close up of his eyes… 1. They run.

They run, hand in hand towards us. They run fast against the hectic crowd, towards the populated train station.

INT. TRAIN. – Continuous.

When they’re inside the train, she takes one of his earphones and wears it.

“Heart attack, it will be gone. If we just get along.”

She nods her head to the beat and starts dancing. But she gets wilder, dancing like a crazy person with no grace. She grabs both of his arms and makes him dance, as crazy as she does. He dances with her, the crowd looks but seems uninterested. The train stops at their station and they run again.

INT. BEDROOM. – Magic hour

We see them enter his bedroom. They look at each other, Judith lets go of his hand. She takes off her earphone and makes him wear it again.

“In your house, dark sets in around.”

He properly drops his bag to his chair as she circles his room in the background. She looks at his desk, full of books, papers, and other stuff from school. Judith looks at him, gives him a wry smile and nods. She pushes everything off the table. She tears of the reviewers he made full of highlight. Judith looks at the calendar marked of deadlines. She grabs a Sharpie and starts doodling Spongebob on it. He just watches in disbelief. She realizes he is looking, and hands him the Sharpie instead.

He looks puzzled. He laughs and starts doodling a Patrick.

He starts to tear off things off his wall as well – things that made him feel cornered in a world he does not want to belong to. He threw things out the window – things he knew he wanted to let go of but never did. He grabs his butterfly knife and slowly walks towards Judith.

She was busy doodling, sitting on the edge of his bed. We see the sudden gush of terror in her eyes when she lays eyes on what he is holding. She backs away as he lifts the knife – and starts stabbing his pillows. We see her laugh in relief. She stands on the bed and grabs the pillows, tearing it even wider, pouring the feathers all over the bed. They make a mess in the room and they seem happy.

They both fall tired to the bed, lying beside each other.

Judith suddenly climbs on top of him. She smiles.

She leans closer to his ear and we see her mouth the last lyrics of the song.

“There’s a lonely road to Sunday night.”

[Music stops]

We see him looking surprised. From his point of view, we see the bedroom ceiling.

He realizes Judith isn’t there at all. He sits up. He takes his earphones off and we hear ambient sounds. He looks around the room – all tidy and in order.

THE END.

 

 

 

Ciudad